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Old 04-19-2016, 01:19 PM   #1
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Booth dinette with seatbelts in a slide?

Hi Everyone, I'm looking at buying a 1996 Newmar Mountain Aire. It's a big 38ft gasser with all the bells ans whistles from 20 years ago. It has a slide that has the regular couch and a free standing table and chairs that I would like to convert to a booth dinette and sleeper couch. Since will be travelling with 3 young children I would like all 4 positions in the dinette to have seatbelts and belts in the couch.

I've read threads where people have camper dinettes, which are all wood construction, and mounted them in their motorhome. Then looking to mount seatbelts they use carriage bolt (and large washers) right through the slide floor!!! To me this seems dangerous. If an accident occurs and the dinette moves but the person does not ... things get a bit messy I suspect.

My understanding is that in general, motorhome dinettes with seatbelts from the factory have a inner metal frame. The seatbelts are mounted to the dinette frame and the dinette frame is mounted to some metal structural members in the slide.

Sorry this is getting long winded but here are my questions:
If I purchase a good motorhome dinette with the steel inner supports. Does this era Mountain Aire have structural steel or aluminium in the floor of the slide? Has anyone had this done in another coach and did something a little different (metal plate under the flooring or something like that)?

I know the standards for seating and seatbelts were not in place till the mid-2000's so there could be a lot of different ways the manufacturers could have made hard mounting points for seatbelts so I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you in advance for any advice or insights.

David
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:25 PM   #2
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Although I can't help you. I would suggest that you contact Newmar and talk to them about this. I'm sure their engineers will be able to advise you on the structural points you'll need to know about.

Good luck with the project.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleachedrock View Post
Hi Everyone, I'm looking at buying a 1996 Newmar Mountain Aire. It's a big 38ft gasser with all the bells ans whistles from 20 years ago. It has a slide that has the regular couch and a free standing table and chairs that I would like to convert to a booth dinette and sleeper couch. Since will be travelling with 3 young children I would like all 4 positions in the dinette to have seatbelts and belts in the couch.

I've read threads where people have camper dinettes, which are all wood construction, and mounted them in their motorhome. Then looking to mount seatbelts they use carriage bolt (and large washers) right through the slide floor!!! To me this seems dangerous. If an accident occurs and the dinette moves but the person does not ... things get a bit messy I suspect.

My understanding is that in general, motorhome dinettes with seatbelts from the factory have a inner metal frame. The seatbelts are mounted to the dinette frame and the dinette frame is mounted to some metal structural members in the slide.

Sorry this is getting long winded but here are my questions:
If I purchase a good motorhome dinette with the steel inner supports. Does this era Mountain Aire have structural steel or aluminium in the floor of the slide? Has anyone had this done in another coach and did something a little different (metal plate under the flooring or something like that)?

I know the standards for seating and seatbelts were not in place till the mid-2000's so there could be a lot of different ways the manufacturers could have made hard mounting points for seatbelts so I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you in advance for any advice or insights.

David
I have a dinette booth and the seats facing forward are the only side that has belts, they are fastened to the floor. There is a danger though facing forward, that if you were to stop hard, little heads could hit the table top or the edge. No belt should be where passengers are facing the rear unless you had high back seats that would support the neck
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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I have a dinette in my 06 Itasca slide out. It has seat belts in all 4 positions. The metal frame of the dinette is screwed into the floor into metal framing. The seat belts are through-bolted with 5/8 bolts, nuts and large backer washers. The bolts go completely through the floor to the underside of the slide out floor.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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Personally, I would not use the dining area for seating even if there are seatbelts available for the exact reasons stated by Deano56, little heads hitting the table would not be good.

The couch has at least two seatbelts and the chair on the passenger side has a seat belt. By my count that makes the three you need and would be much safer.

Sure, change out the dining seating to bench style if needed for sleeping options, but please don't allow children to sit there while under way.

Just my nickels worth. (Inflation, don't you know, lol)
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:56 AM   #6
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You could take the table out or down while traveling. A severe collision with passengers facing backwards without a headrest could mean neck injury if heads are over the back
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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School buses don't have seatbelts... heck, my coach doesn't have any seatbelts. If you're really worried about it... Simply put in belts and be sure to use steel backing plates on the back side of the mounts. Just use common sense when installing.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:14 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the information.

Since one kid is still car seat age and size, she was going to be belted into the captains chair in her car seat. The older two are not so small to hit the table edges but having only lap belts... a good forehead smack on the table is possible.

It's my understanding the coaches made after the mid 2000's have belts in every stationary seat. So forwards and backwards and sideways (couch) are buckled.

Hmmm, I wonder how it would look to have 4 high back captain chairs with integrated seatbelts, 2 on each side of the table. Also with the armrests that fold up so 2 seats close together would act like a bench, easy to slide in and out (but not actually touching)... Of course, I would loose a bed that way. Although... interesting idea.
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